KAPOLEI, Hawaii (Sept. 6, 2013) -- A highlight of the annual Joint Venture Education Forum (JVEF) is the awarding of the prestigious Outstanding Military and Civilian Contributor commendation awards.

During this year's ceremony, held at The Salvation Army-Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, here, Aug. 29, the title of Outstanding Military Contributor went to U.S. Army-Hawaii's own Wendy Nakasone, director, School Support Services; Child, Youth and School Services; Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation; U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii.

"To be named this year's Outstanding Military Contributor was a complete shock to me; I can think of at least a dozen more individuals who are more deserving of this recognition," said Nakasone, of the surprise honor.

According to colleagues, Nakasone is more than deserving of the accolades, and was nominated for her strong work ethic, leadership skills and diligence in coordinating and supporting both military and school events since becoming a school liaison officer with the Army in 2009.

"Her dedication to enhancing the education of military children in Hawaii is unparalleled," said Tamsin Keone, Army School Liaison officer, and last year's JVEF Outstanding Military Contributor.

"She is deserving of the honor because of her commitment to the Partnerships and Collaboration Committee, in which she manages 16 active Army and (Department of Education) partnerships," Keone continued. "She has spent countless hours ensuring that her partnerships are active and that the funds allocated for these schools are administered and executed in a manner that supports the intent of the School Partnership Program."

"Being recognized for the work that I do with JVEF and the military community is more about our Army community than it is about me," Nakasone said. "It's truly an honor for me to serve those who serve our country."